Primary Chalkboard: The 5E Model: Engage

The 5E Model: Engage

Hi everyone!  I'm Ari from The Science Penguin.  This is my first post on Primary Chalkboard and I'm excited to share some science ideas I use with elementary students.  
Many teachers use the 5E Model for teaching science.  I've mostly used a variation of that to incorporate stations and notebooking.

What does Engage mean?
The first "E", Engage, is your's fun!  Teachers elicit prior understandings and pique students' interest in the topic.  They ask driving questions and identify misconceptions.  This can be a fairly quick activity (in the teaching real-world) or a longer activity that lasts a whole class period.  I often do this part informally, but it sets the tone for the entire mini-unit.
To decide how you will engage your students, you have to know them.  Every class will be different.  I don't believe there is a one-size-fits-all activity that every teacher should use to engage their students for any particular unit.

Engagement Ideas
So what can you do to engage students in your unit?
1. Use discrepant events.
2. Read a picture book.
3. Do a short activity that exposes students to the concept you will be talking about.  
4. Talk about a relevant, real-world example.
5. Combine video clips and discussion.

When introducing relative density to 4th graders, we made density bottles.  Before I even uttered the word "density", we made our bottles.  Once we had our bottles full of blue water, vegetable oil,  a plastic sea creature, and a bead, we made observations.  What floats?  What sinks?  THEN, we brought in the new vocabulary.  If an item sinks, it's more dense.  If a substance floats, it's less dense.  We practiced using the new vocabulary to describe the substances in the density bottle.  It was the perfect "engage"!

Here are some more ideas for quick and easy science engagement on my blog, The Science Penguin.

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